I would like to exhort all of you to be full of faith in God’s goodness and faithfulness, as we find ourselves currently in need of a huge sum of money (more than S$3.5 million) to complete the Church Building Project. Furthermore, the need to attain this sum in less than three month’s time is making many of us very anxious, causing us to think how we can raise such a huge sum. Brethren, I am assured that this is His appointed time for us to believe and see His power to help us. If we remain full of believing prayer, He will work for us. Let those who are directed by the Lord give as He has enabled them. Let all who are burdened for this work pray earnestly.
Unwavering faith in God’s faithfulness is a prerequisite to success in the work of the Lord. If we doubt His fidelity, we would become weary and fearful, paralysing us from doing His work confidently. We should never suspect His power to help us to accomplish that which He has called us to do.
To encourage everyone, I publish the following article (with minor editing) that I wrote almost twelve years ago when we were pressing forward to buy the first Church Resource Centre.
“The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build” (Nehemiah 2:20). That was Nehemiah’s reply to Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem who laughed and scorned at the plan of God’s people to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. When the enemies despised them, Nehemiah and his co-labourers trusted in their God for help.
God’s people are never left to be alone in their labour for Him. The apostle Paul said to the Corinthian believers, “We are labourers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9). What a comforting and reassuring thought! Praise the Lord!
In the work of the Lord, we cannot do anything without Him. Jesus said, “Without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). But once our hearts are led by His counsels and established in His promises, nothing can stop us from labouring and building for Him.
Nehemiah declared before his enemies, “The God of heaven, he will prosper us”. What a bold affirmation. Can we be this sure of God’s help? Most certainly!
As far as Nehemiah was concerned, it was not a presumptuous claim. He was not making a hasty, incautious, selfconceited, over-confident assertion in order to derail his enemies’ plans.
His confidence in the Lord’s blessings was the result of his prayerful determining of God’s will concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem and His temple. After carefully assessing the needs of the rebuilding of the city of His people, Nehemiah took time to pray. He prayed, “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy...” (Nehemiah 1:11). He personally sought the Lord concerning the work. As he sought Him in prayer, he was assured of God’s sure blessings.
Everyone who seeks God’s will in prayer and then stretches forth his hand to fulfil that which God has led him to do, can be assured of His good blessings. God will not forsake those who labour to do His will. He will most certainly prosper them.
So if you make sure that your desires are His desires, and your plans are His plans, you will have all of His guidance and blessings in the future, so much so that you can say, “The God of heaven, he will prosper us”.
This was the case in Gethsemane B-P Church. We saw the need of a building for a church resource centre. We sought the Lord in prayer and were ready to fulfil whatever He would lead us to do. We carefully examined our needs and understood what we needed. We then sought to obey the Word in meeting the need of the church. When the Spirit of God began to lead us by His truth and providence, we too affirmed in our midst the words of Nehemiah: “The God of heaven, he will prosper us”.
These magnificent words of faith and confidence have serious implications in our midst. It means that we would not seek any man’s help in a way that would contradict God’s Word. By His grace, we boldly decided not to approach banks for loans, or people for interest-free loans! We believed that if we would go forward by the way of the Lord, He would prosper us. He did just that! Praise the Lord!
Hitherto, we have experienced the same kind of provision from God in publishing the Bible Witness magazine. We thank the Lord for seeing us through fourteen years of publishing. Men may despise, but God will help. Men may reject and oppose, but God will bless and prosper! We can trust God to keep His promises.
Nehemiah 2:20 not only talks about divine leading and help, but also the responsibility of His servants. It calls us to duty – “Let us arise and build.”
God’s promises do not make His servants sluggish or lethargic. On the contrary, recognising God’s good Hand in a project grants great motivation to press on even in the midst of opposition. It gives His servants willingness and readiness to sacrifice, and also to set themselves apart to accomplish the work that He has called them to do.
The only proper response to the Lord’s goodness and promises is to “arise and build”. People’s resolve to do His work is a token of their conviction of God’s sovereignty and faithfulness.
We have found this truth being illustrated powerfully among the brethren in Gethsemane B-P Church. Having been convicted of God’s leading and goodness, they gave themselves wholeheartedly to acquire the building. They sweat and shed tears. When disappointment and anxiety arose, they went to the Lord with renewed trust. The Lord was always there to strengthen hearts and hands to work even harder. Many prayed earnestly. Many gave generously. While some searched for an appropriate place, others gave plenty of thoughts to prepare and furnish the new place.
The rest is history – God did prosper His people! They arose and laboured! God’s work was done!